How To Stay Up In Down Times
Volunteer. Take your awareness outside of yourself and focus it on the wellbeing of others. This may not be possible if you’re in crisis mode, but it can be very helpful if you’re increasingly preoccupied by your own negative thoughts. Many studies have shown that community service and philanthropy are more satisfying over the long term than focusing on your problems. Try volunteering at your local library, homeless shelter or hospital. You can become less focused on the bad stuff you’ve been dealing with—and even form a connection with others in the process.
Notice the Good. It might seem nearly impossible to find the silver lining in a burdensome situation, but it can be helpful. Maybe you’ve gone through some personal growth and change because of what’s happened, or you’ve become closer to someone.
Change Negative Self-Talk. It’s way too easy to think the same negative thoughts over and over again. However, you can learn to change this by doing some cognitive-behavioral therapy on yourself. When you notice yourself having a negative thought about yourself, replace it with a positive one. If you find yourself thinking “It’s all my fault” or “I’m not good enough,” stop and remind yourself of how well you’ve been coping and how others appreciate you.
The bottom line on becoming and remaining optimistic: We can’t change what happens to us or to loved ones, but we can change how we react to it. And though that process may take some time, it’s worth it because of the joy and peace of mind optimism can bring.